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Hi, i'm thinking of getting a foxbody 2.3l lx but it's an auto trans. never swapped a trans before, how smooth is the swap? what do i need to swap out besides the trans? And which manual is stock for 2.3l from 87~93? thank you!
 

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The T5 transmission from any year will work, to my knowledge. Best to find one closer to your year model.

You'll also want to change the transmission harness and the ECU as they are different from auto to manual. With that said, to the best of my knowledge, the '87-'90 use the same harness, then the '91-'93 are the same, so it would probably be best to locate the same year model car as you have to yank the parts from.

You'll also need the flywheel, bellhousing, clutch linkage, clutch/brake pedal assembly, clutch cable and all the hardware.

On a 4 cylinder, it's a worthwhile swap....having driven/owned both auto and manual 4 cylinder Fox body cars, I'm not sure I'd ever want another 4 banger with an auto. Neither is a hotrod by any means but the auto really sucks a lot of power out of what little the engine already has.
 

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Anythign will work if you want to work on it enough..........

The 4 cylinder T5 is plentiful, dirt cheap (free sometimes) and it's a direct bolt-in zero mods. The ranger is a Mazda (I think) transmission. Totally different in every single aspect. The Ranger trans has the shifter located all wrong for a Mustang. Your shifter lever would end up in the dash. If it fits in the tunnel at all. They're pretty big. Then you'll have to address at the very least the drive shaft, the hydraulic clutch, wiring, mount location (it too is totally different), among many other things.

The only thing the Ranger and the Mustang 5 speed transmissions have in common is that they both have 5 speeds.
 

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Toddturbo is right, the ranger transmission is a totally different animal.

You should be able to find a 2.3L T-5 all day long for peanuts, as they aren't really useful in any other application. The V-8 T-5 will not work for you as the input shaft size is different (although this can be overcome with an S-10 throwout bearing) but more importantly the gearing is not ideal for a non-turbo 2.3L car. If you are doing a turbo 2.3L, then the V8 T-5 with a lower (numerically higher) rear end is a good match.

What are your plans for the car? If it is just a daily driver, unless the car is exceptional in some way (lower mileage or super clean) it will be easier (and probably cheaper, too) to just find a 5-speed car than bother doing the swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just can't seem to find 2.3 with manuals on craigslist, but saw a bunch of them with auto. Yeah, you are all right, should just wait. I have a bronco ii, get about 15 ~ 17mpg. Just fantasizing about getting a 4 cylinder. So 2.3's are cheaper than 5.0s in general? But I see so many ads for 5.0s. I'm referring to mustang 3 (87~93). You mentioned they are "not useful in any other application". What does that mean? Thanks!
 

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I just can't seem to find 2.3 with manuals on craigslist, but saw a bunch of them with auto. Yeah, you are all right, should just wait. I have a bronco ii, get about 15 ~ 17mpg. Just fantasizing about getting a 4 cylinder. So 2.3's are cheaper than 5.0s in general? But I see so many ads for 5.0s. I'm referring to mustang 3 (87~93). You mentioned they are "not useful in any other application". What does that mean? Thanks!

I was referring to the 2.3L T-5 transmission itself. Due to their weaker internals and gearing appropriate for a 105 HP four banger, they aren't useful to the 5.0L crowd, and the only thing you can use to rebuild with it is the case.

The 2.3L cars have lived rough lives in general, so it has actually gotten somewhat difficult to find them in decent shape. I'm building one right now, and it took quite a while to find one that wasn't completely rusted junk with a 5 speed. You just have to be patient.
 

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Look on TurboFord or NATO (TurboCoupe site) for detailed instructions on swapping transmissions. It's not that bad to do. I've swapped 4 TurboCoupes. You will need the trans, bellhousing, clutch, flywheel and pedal assembly.

steve
 

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Www.stinger-performance.com has a nice step by step guide for this swap. I used everything out of an '88 Turbo Coupe so I could use the hydraulic clutch setup. You'll need the cross member and different drive shaft too. V8 shafts are the same auto or manual but the 4cyl auto shafts won't work. An auto computer can be used with a t5 but not the other way around.
 

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The cross member is not required, have to do some drilling but the auto one can be used on a T5 in a 2.3L car. I actually see quite a few 5-speed 2.3L cars for sale down here but already own an automatic car for my kids to use so been in the process of converting it to a 5-speed due to the automatic finally dying. For what it has cost me to get all the parts needed, it just would not make sense to me to knowingly buy an automatic 2.3L car with intent to convert to a 5-speed unless doing something like a full Turbocoupe engine/trans swap.
 

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The cross member is not required, have to do some drilling but the auto one can be used on a T5 in a 2.3L car.
Good to know, I didn't realize it would have worked. I was impressed that the mounting location for the 5spd crossmember was already there.
 

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Good to know, I didn't realize it would have worked. I was impressed that the mounting location for the 5spd crossmember was already there.
Admittedly I could be lying, I was told by two people who did it though which is why I stopped looking for a cross member. I should know in a months time. Car finally made it back to town and I will be doing the T5 swap, new convertible top, and new brake booster. If I am wrong I will update my post just in case anyone runs across it.

But bottom line after going through the trouble to source all the parts for the conversion I would definitely not buy an automatic with intent to swap unless it was just an amazingly super nice car but those are rare to find for the 2.3L models. A lot of what I ran into is because people see the parts as worthless they chunk them long before you can find them to try and buy them. I got a working T5 but due to downtime I had my friend who rebuilds transmissions take it apart and sure enough it was questionable at best. I got lucky in that he had a rebuild kit he got for free and he did the labor for free all I spent was about $60 on some additional parts he needed. Then factor in some of the new parts you will have to(or should like clutch kit and quadrant) buy it can all very easily exceed $500 and I bet if I added it all up I would be around $750. Although at the end of the day I have zero connections to get an automatic rebuilt and I am certain I'd spent every bit of the same amount(probably even more) of money paying someone to do that so that is justification enough for me to go to something that in my mind makes the car better to drive.
 

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Definitely makes it more enjoyable to drive. Be careful buying parts from a turbo coupes as well. They use a hydraulic clutch and different peddles as well. I used the whole setup from my donor car when I did my turbo swap.
 

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fess40;16638978. Be careful buying parts from a turbo coupes as well. They use a hydraulic clutch and different peddles as well. I used the whole setup from my donor car when I did my turbo swap.[/QUOTE said:
When I did my 5 speed 88 turbo coupe trans swap, I used the bell housing, transmission and clutch peddles, & drive line from a 86 turbo Cougar. The 87-88 cars used hydraulic clutch, but the earlier t bird & cougar turbo cars used cable clutch, also the 86 T-5 has a deeper 1st gear than the 87-88, which helps with take off, another good thing is the auto cars came with a 3:73 tracloc rear, where the 5 speed cars were 3:55, so by swapping from auto to 5 speed you also get a better gear ratio, I also swapped the auto 8UA computer to a LA3, I know these are t-bird specfic, but letting you know you can get a clutch cable version, and gear ratios for different year 4 cyl T-5 also. There is a chart for T-5 years, ratios, and applications I down loaded from another site, but it's on my other computer, you can do a search and probably find it pretty easy. I also have a complete T-5 swap set up I am not using, from a 88 turbo coupe, trans, peddles, bellhousing, computer, slave cylinder, crossmember, driveline, but I am in NM, so shipping is more than it's worth unless you lived pretty close!
 

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I finally got to this job this past weekend. To re-use the auto crossmember would actually take quite a lot of rigging because it normally mounts aft of the 5-speed crossmember which means moving it forward into those mounts but those mounts are too wide for it. I think you still might have to do some drilling on the crossmember to make it work in that spot. Another issue I ran into is the clutch cable for the 2.3L car is different than the 5.0L and all three of the cables I had turned out to be for 5.0L cars.

So I am close to done, just having to order new bushings for the 5-speed crossmember I found this past weekend. Then I need to address the neutral safety switch(which I need to read up more on) and if I can find the harness cheap enough then hook up my reverse lights as well.
 
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